Friday, May 27, 2005

FPL is Prepared for the 2005 Hurricane Season

Source: Florida Power & Light Co.

Visit www.FPL.com For Storm Preparation Information

As the start of the 2005 Hurricane season approaches, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) announced today it is prepared and committed to restoring power to customers quickly and safely. The company is urging customers to make their personal storm preparations, as well.

"Ever since the storms last year, we have been hard at work getting ready for the 2005 hurricane season," said Armando Olivera, FPL president. "Getting power back to our customers after a storm is our top priority and our employees are ready to do whatever it takes - no matter how severe the conditions - to restore power to as many people as possible, as quickly and safely as we can and help get the communities we serve back on their feet."

Following an unprecedented hurricane season in 2004 that saw four hurricanes make landfall in Florida, three of which hit FPL's service territory, FPL has thoroughly reviewed its well-tested restoration plan, made the necessary investments and is applying the latest technology to better serve its customers in the event of a storm.

They include:

Customer communications - FPL will provide more timely information to help customers plan better following a storm. Within 24 hours after a storm, FPL will provide a global estimated time of restoration (ETR) describing how long it will take for the entire restoration and within 48 hours regional/county ETR for affected areas. The company is also working on more localized ETR information 72 hours after the storm passes.

Storm alliances - Last year, FPL had 17,000 workers involved in restoration, thousands coming from 39 states and Canada. With the threat of more active hurricane seasons, FPL is expanding its mutual aid alliances with utilities beyond the Southeast, now solidifying alliances with utilities in the Southwest and Northeast.

Preparing together with emergency officials - FPL has met and is working hand-in-hand with emergency management officials to identify and be aligned with each community's critical infrastructure - the functions that need to be restored quickly to ensure the public's health and safety.

Storm telecommunications technology - FPL is enhancing its state-of-the-art satellite and wireless communications technology in the field and at staging sites so crews can get to the field and start restoring faster.

Storm logistics - Thousand of field crews who work 16-hour days restoring power for customers must be housed, provided meals, laundry service and transported daily from hotels to temporary staging sites. Their trucks must be fueled every night. Using the latest technology, FPL deployed 13 staging sites within 24 hours in 2004 and has revamped its plans to set up its staging sites faster.

Annual storm dry run scheduled for June 15

"We learned a lot from last year's extraordinary storm season and we have taken what we have learned and used that to improve our restoration plan to better serve our customers," said Geisha Williams, who aside from being vice president of distribution is also in charge of FPL's restoration plan. On June 15, thousands of FPL employees will train in an annual "storm dry run" that will test the company's hurricane plans and its ability to deal with a simulated hurricane of statewide proportions. FPL will test all facets of its plan, including enhancements made following the 2004 storm season.

"We are committed to providing reliable service to all of our customers, because we know how indispensable electricity is to our daily lives - not just for comfort in this tropical climate, but to run businesses, educate children and care for our loved ones. While we don't anticipate a repeat of last year's storm season, we always prepare and we are ready for whatever this year's storm season may bring," said Williams.

Storm's path, intensity and available resources are the key to restoration

The speed of restoration is based on the path of the storm, its intensity and the amount of resources available. FPL works with emergency operations officials to first restore power to the public health and safety critical infrastructure - such as hospitals, police, fire, communications, water, sanitary services and transportation. Almost simultaneously, FPL turns its attention to repairing electrical facilities that will return service to the largest number of customers in the shortest period of time, and then the next largest number and so on until crews converge in the hardest hit areas and every customer is restored.

"We encourage and invite our customers to prepare with us," said Williams. "Review your emergency plans for your family and your business. There is no better time than now, before a storm, to prepare by purchasing supplies, becoming knowledgeable about the hurricane season and informed about what you can expect following a natural disaster."

"We wish we did not have hurricanes to contend with, but that is the price we pay for living in Florida. We're working closely with our communities and we are building on what we learned from last year's storms. We are preparing hand-in-hand with local and state emergency officials and we want our customers to prepare as well so we can all get through the hurricane season safely - together," said Williams.

For additional information on how to get prepared for the hurricane season, please visit FPL's website at http://www.FPL.com. Customers will also receive information in their monthly statement.

What can FPL customers do to prepare before the storm?

- Local emergency operations officials urge residents to prepare to be self sufficient for at least 14 days. Keep a battery-operated radio with you and a two-week supply of fresh batteries. A battery-operated radio may be the only way you will receive emergency public information during a disaster.

- Have your FPL account number and FPL's phone number (1-800-4-OUTAGE) readily available in case you need to call us. With your account number, you will be able to quickly receive information through our automated system.

- If your preparation plan includes the operation of a portable generator in the event of an outage at your home, after the storm has passed be sure to set it up outside and connect appliances directly to it. Please do not wire your generator directly to your breaker or fuse box, because the power you generate may flow back into power lines and cause injuries.
What can customers do during and after a storm?

Here are some tips:

- When winds reach 35 mph or flooding is significant, stay out of harm's way. At FPL, we care about our employees, and we insist they too remain safe, so we suspend work in the field until conditions improve.

-Consider every power line energized. Stay away from downed lines, flooding and debris. Don't walk in standing water and don't venture out in the dark because you might not see a power line that could still be energized and dangerous.

How does FPL know who's without power and when should I call?

- Right after a storm, we'll know if large power lines have been damaged and you're without power. Stay tuned to local radio, TV and newspapers for specific reports on FPL's progress in assessing and repairing damage to the electrical system in your area.

- If your neighborhood gets power back after a storm -- but you're still without power -- then please call us at 1-800-4-OUTAGE. Please have your account number available when you call and an automated system will record your outage information.

As a customer, what can I do after a storm and where can I turn for information?

- Before you call to report an outage, check all circuit breakers or fuses to help determine if your service outage might be the result of a household problem.

- If you have significant water damage in your home that might make it unsafe, call a licensed electrician for advice.

- Visually inspect the area outside your home near the meter. If the meter or any of the piping and wires on the wall of your home or office is gone or look damaged, call an electrician.

- If no problems are apparent, FPL will re-connect your service or assist in determining whether you have a household problem.

- Visit http://www.FPL.com for pre- and post-storm customer tips, a Hurricane Q&A and - when events occur -- news of storm restoration and maps.

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